6:30 PM, Owen’s Diner, May 8th:
“Hi,” Cammie introduced herself. “I’m Cammie, your blind date.”
The shorter girl was bold and a little foxy, her dark eyes framed by dramatic eye makeup. “Ooh, you are cute!” She smiled, a smile full of secrets and mischief.
So unlike Alex…
“My name is Alya.”
8:30 PM, Diana’s Dessert~ April 12th;
Cammie was waiting there for her, it was obvious in the way she was poking at a melting cup of ice cream. Sitting outside of the shop, in the cold, looking intently at the parking lot.
How she knew Pamela didn’t care to find out at the moment. She dived into her arms, face burying itself in the crook of her neck.
That is how Pamela spent her Friday night. Sobbing into her best friend's arms, heartbroken, so tired…
“I don’t want to be like this anymore.”
7: 55 PM, Alex’s Room~ April 12th:
“Kay, baby,” said Alex, smiling goofily. “Good night!” But didn’t make a move to hang up.
Pamela sucked in a sharp wobbly breath, a chilling realization washing over her.
She can’t do this.
Cuz… oh em gee, she was going to throw up.
Pamela slipped her jacket over her shoulders and stuffed her papers into her bag. She had come to Alex so that Alex could help her rehearse but… Alex got a call from the boy she was seeing...and she picked up immediately… called him ‘baby’.
Pamela tapped Alex’s shoulder, trying to catch her attention. Alex looked up from her phone, sparkling browns shining beneath her long lashes.
Alex set her phone down, still blushing from the phone call. “What?”
Her throat was too tight, if she opened her mouth she knew she’d burst into tears.
“Are you okay?” Alex moved closer, brows tugging up. “You look sick, do you need to lay down?” She put her hand to Pamela’s forehead, “your skin is sweaty, maybe you should-”
“Igottogo,” mumbled Pamela, and then she was leaving. Tears pooling in her eyes, her skirt made running hard but she didn’t stop. Not when Alex called after her. Not when it was hard to breathe through the sobs tearing through her. Not when she felt so stupid.
Her phone kept pinging with alerts, so much that she stopped her sprint just to shut it up-most of the messages were from Alex, but two were from Cammie.
They read; ‘I’m at Diana’s Dessert, if you come, I’ll buy you ice cream.”
And then Pamela walked to the dessert bar, breath uneven from the sudden sprinting, chest tight with more sobs waiting to get out.
7: 55 PM, Alex’s Room~ April 12th
Before that phone call, Pamela was convinced they were having a moment.
Alex was grinning at her with that awed dreamy look on her face, swaying softly to her voice. And they were maintaining eye contact, their knees almost touching where they sat kneeled on the bed. All the electricity in the air! Pamela was convinced that Alex felt it too…
Obviously, she didn’t.
After all, as soon as that special ringtone rang Alex perked up significantly even though she was animated just fine before and rushed to pick up the phone, clearing her throat and pursing her lips before she answered.
Before she did she seemed to remember Pamela, and she said, “can I take this? It’ll only take a moment.”
Pamela might be able to accept that, that the boy currently held Alex’s fancy. Alex went through boys like it was her job because she is beautiful and sweet, and generous, and a flirt.
But… before their little rehearsal on that fateful Friday afternoon was Wednesday. Wednesday when…
7: 55 PM, High School hallway~ April 10th:
“He wants to meet you.” Alex told Pamela, “I told him about you, and he said that you seem cool. And that he loves musicals so he’ll definitely be going to your performance.”
“Really?” asked Pamela, slightly taken aback. Alex never made it so that she will introduce her boy toys to her friends or family.
Was she serious about him? Or was he only being introduced because he asked?
“Yeah!” Alex beamed. “Isn’t he amazing? Pamela, you are going to adore him!”
“Sure I will, boyfriend is probably going to be a total angel.” The lack of enthusiasm in her voice could be explained by the fact that Alex never had a man for more than a month.
“Don’t call him boyfriend, “ reprimanded Alex, “he has a name.”
Something throbbed in her chest. Alex never cared when Pamela called her boyfriends by that moniker.
“What’s his name again?”
Her long dark hair is taken out of the ponytail and her sweet shampoo tickles her nostrils.
“Rudy, short for Rudolph.”
Several mean jokes about his name ran through her head before she said, “He wants to meet me?”
“Yeah, you in?”
‘No. I’m not in. I want out. I don't want to do this! Don’t make me do this.’
‘You’re killing me.’
‘I love you.’
‘Look at me! You know me! He’s just some boy. A no one. A stranger!’
“Yeah, sure.” Pamela flashes a cheesy grin, “just let me know what time, I’m a busy girl you know.”
In a flash of bright t-shirt and baggy jeans, Cammie materializes, throwing herself between them. “Hi, guys!!”
Alex starts talking animatedly about something but Cammie’s eyes had started to her- asking with her eyes, ‘Are you okay?’.
With a quick shake of her head, Pamela answers ‘no’.
8: 17 PM, School Hallway~ February 27th
Cammie found out about her sexuality when she found Pamela crying during the school dance. She was crying, of course, because she saw Alex making out with a boy.
The lights were a bit more dimmed for the dance, or maybe it was just the lack of sunshine shining through the windows. But Pamela had found a rather reclusive corner and somehow Cammie had found her anyway.
Cammie was the charming one, the infamously funny one. The trouble maker. The one who people flocked to for a good time.
Pamela couldn’t muster a smile so she let her hair slip in front of her face, covering her smudgy makeup and quivering lip. She didn’t speak in fear of having a wobbly voice.
“Why are you sad?”
“I saw you,” Cammie whispers, sitting next to her. “You went all blushy when you saw Alex in her dress, and all mopey when you saw her date. You like her, don’t you?”
'I love her, actually'.
She wanted to deny it but she couldn't even speak. That gave her away.
“I’m sorry,” whispered Cammie. “For forcing you to come out to me. But I've noticed for a while,” Pamela’s head snaps up and Cammie waves her hands wildly, “no one else has! I just- I want you to know that it’s ok. That I don’t think of you differently.”
Pamela knew that her friends would be nothing less of supportive and practical. She knew this, but there were still nagging fears.
Would Alexie starts to change her clothes in the bathroom instead of the room whenever they have a sleepover. Would Jamie stop tutoring her in her room and start on the kitchen table?
Truly those details shouldn't matter.
But it hurt. The idea hurt because it gave the notion that they were putting a wall between them and her. The wall implied that she was different from before though she wasn’t. She never cared when Alexie took her shirt off or when Jamie sat close to her- because she loved Alex.
She definitely noticed when Alex undressed though she made sure to avert her eyes. She definitely had filthy thoughts about her. But she was the same person. She was always stupidly in love with Alex. She was always stupidly attracted to women.
She was the same.
“Don’t cry,” Cammie scolded, “your makeup will smear and you look so beautiful.”
“Are you hitting on me?”
Cammie blinked before a grin spread across her face. “I’m way out of your league, kid.”
Just like that, nothing different except a secret less.
It was almost alarming. How nothing had changed. Except that’s not true because before she had herself firmly shoved in the closet. The key somewhere out of reach.
But now… there was a person willing to help her out if thats’ what she wants.
And it was much better than before...
3: 25 PM, Alex’s Room~ February 14;
Alex unbuttoned her blue denim skirt which looked ridiculously hot on her. Pamela averted her eyes and pulled her pants up, pinching herself to get rid of these… feelings.
She kept her back to Alex and started braiding her hair, anything to hide the shaking in her hands. Distract herself from the thumping in her heart.
It’s Valentine's Day, a day for love and romance… and here Pamela was… helping the love of her life get ready for her date. A boy who was most definitely charming and sweet. Someone Alex will moon over later.
This… was agony.
Times like these… Pamela wished she never met Alex as young as she did. And most definitely wishes she never fell in love.
10: 20 AM, School ~ First Grade;
Pamela shouldn’t be crying.
But she couldn't stop. She left her daycare, to go to the big kid's school and she was lost! And she was… scared.
Giving up she sat on the floor, hugging her knees to herself, hiding her face behind it. She wasn’t planning on moving, not for anyone or anything! It was the teacher's fault the school was so confusing anyway! But a few seconds passed and the position began to get uncomfortable. She shifted by no matter how much she did it still hurt her butt.
Moving to sit on her knees Pamela began to cry again until a pretty girl wearing a pretty dress put a soft hand on her shoulder. “Don’t cry.”
Embarrassed for being caught crying, she explained. “I’m lost.”
“I’ll help you.” the girl extended a hand, leaning down so her braid slipped over a shoulder. “My name is Alex.”